I have just run a wonderful silk scarves with natural dyes workshop at the stunningly located Kingcombe Centre, Lower Kingcombe, Dorset. Seven very creative and imaginative individuals took part. Including two visitors from Australia! I introduced everyone to some techniques of Shibori: ori-nui, karamatsu, maki-age and mokume. Plus also showing them itajime, the method of folding and clamping fabrics.
It was a lot to take in but everyone got going without a problem, setting about shibori stitching and then folding and clamping the silk scarf to produce some truly original patterns.
I was on hand to guide and assist, and helped them to understand the best ways to work and achieve all their ideas and projects.
Dyes used on the workshop
All the scarves were mordanted with alum before the workshop so we could just get on with producing wonderful colours on silk.
- Fustic wood chips to create the yellow.
- Madder root to make the pink.
- Walnut hulls to produce a brown.
- Indigo to give the blue.
I am going to share some of the super silk scarf designs they came up with to give a taste of the day and to be an inspiration for your creative projects in Shibori. I will also explore in later blogs how to produce some similar designs.
Introducing 3 Different Designs
1. Stripes and diamonds
Simple rows of running stitch through 2 layers of silk scarf, this was dyed with madder and unpicked. Then folded and dyed in indigo. Resulting in 4 colours, white, pink, blue and mauve.
2. Freeform overlaid with circles.
Rows of parallel stitching through 4 layers of silk scarf, this was pulled up, dyed with fustic and unpicked. Then folded, clamped with a circle and dyed in indigo. Resulting in 4 colours, white, yellow, blue and glowing turquoise.
3. Paisley motifs and diamonds
Maki- age stitched motifs through two layers of silk scarf, pulled up and bound tightly then dyed with the madder. The stitching unpicked and then the scarf was folded up and clamped with a square acrylic shape and dyed in indigo. This is a great example of freeform shapes against a strong geometric. Lovely! Resulting in 4 colours, the white, the pink, the blue and mauve.
Again on this day I have seen how the creative mind of each individual takes on the ideas and techniques presented to them and makes something completely their own. Inspiring!
Try it yourself
Follow my blog or sign up to my newsletter to be updated on new designs and how to create them. Or join a local shibori workshop or come along to one of mine. I am running some more of the shibori silk scarves with natural dye workshops through the year. See my workshop page.